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Let the cards fall...
Well folks as we all sit here at the beginning of yet another Ohio State preseason there are still many questions that have yet to be answered. Here is my biggest question for OSU this season.

Can Mark Snyder fill the massive shoes of Dantonio?

The answer to the above question will be the most critical if OSU is going to make a third straight BCS appearance. Dantonio was a phenominal coach, especially when it came to game plans. The scheme that he put together before the Miami national championship game still resides in my head as one of the most brilliant coaching performances put on by a defensive coordinator. He always found a way to come up with the answers to the potent aspects of every offense, and keep the sluggish offense in every game. Although he sometimes frustrated me with his lack of blitzing, he made up for it with his knack to sense when to bring the house. He will be greatly missed this season, but I believe that Snyder is a budding star.

At the age of 40, this is Snyder's time to shine. Snyder first hooked up with Jim Tressel at Youngstown St. After six very successful years at Youngstown State, in which the Penguins racked up 3 national titles, Snyder moved on to Minnesota to coach the defensive ends.

While at Minnesota the defense twice set school records for sacks in a season under the assistance of Snyder. He also was a part of developing top knotch talent in the defensive trenches including 2000 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the year Karon Riley.

Snyder is left with cupboards that are absolutely loaded, starting out along the defensive line. Although this is the area hit the hardest by graduation, look for potential All-American Simon Fraser and budding stars Mike Kudla and Quinn Pitcock alongside Marcus Green to step in and make some great things happen in the trenches.

His linebacking crew is the best in the big ten, and arguably the strongest in the country. This supporting cast will feature the always spectacular AJ Hawk, Air Force transfer Anthony Schlegel, and my 2004 breakout out pick Bobby Carpenter. Mark my words, Bobby Carpenter will become a household name by mid season. Mix this assortment of superstars together and you form a brick wall on the second level of the Buckeye defense.

As far as the secondary is looking Snyder has some decent shoes to fill in Chris Gamble, but look for EJ Underwood to prove adequate. If he doesn't hold up, you have the ultra talented, yet very raw cast of Ashton Youboty and Ted Ginn waiting for their chance. The other side will be sealed up by Dustin Fox, my "2004 Carlos Snow award" pick. (On a quick side note, the Carlos Snow award goes to the player who seems to never graduate. Among the past winners are OSU assistant Luke Fickell :biggrin:) The safeties will be spear-headed by the hard hitting tandem of Donte Whitner and Nate Salley.

All in all Snyder is waltzing into a very good thing here at OSU. Realistically, he only needs to find a way to utilize the wide variety of talent that he has waiting to be exploited. If he can plug and play with some very talented rookies, the 2004 defense has a chance to make all of us Buckeye fans forget Dantonio very quickly.
Nice post daddyp!

Talk like this offers a glimmer of the convos we're going to have this Fall. After not having that last year, I honestly cannot wait.

I think it's going to be very interesting to see how the defense performs this year. Expectations are high, and one wonders if there will be any fall-off at all with Dantonio's departure. Sometimes the difference is immediately palpable, other times it takes a couple seasons to notice the results of shifting philosophies. I think in this case we're going to see a pretty smooth transition. In fact, I hope to see us even notch up on the "relentless defense" aspect of our game that has been a hallmark of the better Buckeye squads over the last decade.

I know a lot of fans are offensively minded. And maybe I'm not enough so, but there's something about having a kick ass tough-as-nails defense and an in-your-face power running game that makes me want to pick up powertools and grunt in tough manly ways. There's something clean and honest about having a top D, something that earns respect from other teams and other fans. I would take the top D over the top O any day of the week, but now I'm completely breaking off on a tangent, and I shouldn't be running this circular saw in bed.

Here's hoping we see a tough and swarming defense with that "Florida-speed" that we have way up North in Ohio. I can't wait to see our LBs play. If asked who I'm most excited about; Schlegel, Carpenter, Hawk, D'Andrea, etc., my answer would have to be "yes". I think we've got some talent (as always) on the DLine, and it goes without saying that there are guys to be excited about back in the secondary.

It's going to be a great season.

Just noticed where this is. Is this meant to be a blog? If so, 3yards or someone might be dropping you a line to have you repost it in the Blogs/Articles link in the red navbar.
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Daddy did send me a PM about this. Clarity is correct, this is a Blog and should be posted in the new blog/article section found in the red navigation bar at the top of most screens.

Nice stuff daddy! I'll go ahead and move it for you since you're not on the board. In the future go ahead and post it directly into the blog section. That way the system will list you as the author ... not me. I understand the confusion though ... this IS how we were posting the blogs (inside the News Forum), so no big deal. I'll add a link to this thread as well so that folks can find these replies if needed.

Again, nice work!

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I try not to look at the team through Scarlett colored glasses. And , while most prognosticators look at our team and see all the defensive losses as reason to expect at least a few losses, I really am excited to see the new guys perform on the D.

While we lost 3 great guys on the line, I think the young guys will be more than adequate. The only concern I have is getting enough pressure from one of the ends like we got from W.S. It may take a few games, but , in the end I think the d-line will also be great. It's nice to have such depth and coaches that rotate to get alot of players the pt they need to develop.

Oue LB's should indeed be an improvement. Hopefully, D'Andrea will be healthy and leave us with a rotating crew of Hawk, Carp, Schlegel,Kerr,D'Andrea and whomever.

I'm not in the camp that thinks Dustin Fox is a stiff. I feel he is solid and will again block some kicks this year. EJ will be fine also. Salley will continue to light up opposing players. Whitner won't miss a beat from Will Allen.

Theonly part of the defense that really worries me is the punting. I watched Huston in pregame last year , and was not impressed at all with his hangtime or distance. Hopefully someone or Huston can step up and be near the ability of Groom and Sander.
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Theonly part of the defense that really worries me is the punting. I watched Huston in pregame last year , and was not impressed at all with his hangtime or distance. Hopefully someone or Huston can step up and be near the ability of Groom and Sander.

Great point about the punting game, this also worries me somewhat. I guess you could say that we were in this same position last season and Sander stepped up though.
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Yes, but for all of the shanks BJ had, he always had a strong leg. Once he solved that shank problem, he was all set.

If Huston can master the art of punting inside the 20 like Sander, then he can possibly get away with that low hang time.

Great punting has really been big weapon for us the last 2 years. I'm just concerned about that area.

:oh: :io:
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